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Mykhailo Drahomanov: A Reassessment of the Man and His Ideas

Description: CIUS Seminar Audio Part 1 and 2.

In a seminar entitled, "Mykhailo Drahomanov: A Reassessment of the Man and His Ideas," Christine Worobec, M. A., recent history graduate from the University of Toronto, concentrated upon Mykhailo Drahomanov 's thought and the unique position this historian, political scientist and journalist, folklorist and literary critic held in the turbulent political arena which plagued the Russian autocratic regime in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Dedicated to the realization of complete political freedom in the Russian empire, Drahomanov strode the centrifugal forces of both Russian radicalism and Ukrainian nationalism. This life-long struggle, however, resulted in Drahomanov 's isolation from both Russian revolutionary circles and the focal point of the Ukrainian national movement, the Kievan "Hromada." This was due to his unrelenting critical nature and, more importantly, his perceptive conception of nationalism, the progressive aspects of which were intrinsically tied to his quest for freedom within the confines of the Russian empire. Against ethnic chauvinism and reaction, Drahomanov paradoxically was destined to suffer isolation from the Russian revolutionary circles due to his so-called "Ukrainophile" leanings. At the same time, his Russian political activity contributed to his ostracism from the conservative Kievan "Hromada," which censured his Ukrainian pursuits as too radical. / The paper reexamined the most striking feature of Drahomanov' s political ideology, i.e., the fusion of cosmopolitanism and nationalism and its practical application in relation to the Russian revolutionary and Ukrainian national movements. Discussion touched on: Drahomanov 's veneration of historical progress as an evolutionary process bringing man closer to perfection with each successive era; his propagation of socialist anarchism as the ideal form of human association; his advocacy of a decentralized federated state in place of the autocratic tsarist regime; and finally, his definition of the "plebeian" nation and nationalism in general. / After the paper, the consensus was that Drahomanov has most decidedly been misunderstood and unjustly neglected as an important nineteenth-century figure. Although his name has not been put alongside the readily familiar names of Russian or Ukrainian revolutionaries, his ideas and their application to concrete problems enriched both the Russian revolutionary and the Ukrainian national movements. Drahomanov's unique position and his voluminous writings provide a wealth of unused material for the historian who is interested in a novel, perceptive view of nineteenth-century social developments.
Author: CIUS
Publisher: CIUS
Date: October 2, 1978
Contributor: Christine Worobec
Language: English, Ukrainian
Original Format: Magnetic tape, audio cassette





CIUS, “Mykhailo Drahomanov: A Reassessment of the Man and His Ideas,” CIUS-Archives, accessed March 4, 2024,
Unless otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license .